Richard A. Flavell, Ph.D., Sterling Professor of Immunobiology, and chair of immunobiology was named to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in October. The IOM was established by the National Academy of Sciences and is recognized as a national resource for independent, scientifically informed analysis and recommendations on issues related to human health. Election to the institute recognizes people who have made significant contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care and public health and is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of medicine and health.

Dean Robert J. Alpern, M.D., Ensign Professor of Medicine, said, “Richard’s research is outstanding, clearly placing him among the best immunologists in the world. This is combined with a talent for leadership that has allowed him to cultivate an immunology program that is unsurpassed anywhere. His wisdom and experience should prove valuable to the Institute of Medicine.”

Flavell’s research primarily concerns the molecular basis of T cell differentiation in the immune system. His research team has used genomic approaches to identify the genes that are selectively expressed in T cell lineages, and has used gene targeting, transgenic mice and retroviral technology to elucidate the function of these genes and their target sequences.

Flavell, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, studies effector mechanisms of programmed cell death using mice lacking caspases and investigates the molecular and cellular basis for autoimmune disease.